As I type this, I am at one of Little Miss’s Goldfish Swim School lessons. Yes, it’s winter, and it’s cold outside, but she is sharpening her skills and learning a ton from these lessons. I’m so glad that we started coming to the brand new Goldfish Swim School location in Mundelein where she has learned a ton and gained an amazing amount of confidence.
10 Reasons to Sign Up for Goldfish Swim School Lessons
1) Free wifi. Wait, I’m writing this while at her swim lesson? Why yes, yes, I am. As so many smart businesses do nowadays, Goldfish Swim School has free wifi so you can catch up with some work while watching your child learn – or you can learn some Spanish on your Kindle like Mister Man enjoys doing. It’s a little thing, but it makes things so much easier.
The wifi isn’t the only little touch that makes this a great place to take your swim lessons. I have a ton to say about what Little Miss has actually learned, but I’m saving that for a separate post. Here? Just know that the instruction itself is amazing, and instead let me focus on what makes the place itself special.
2) Large private changing areas. As I mentioned, it’s winter in Chicago. It’s cold and yucky outside, but that doesn’t mean Little Miss is miserable once we walk out the doors of Goldfish Swim School because she’s wet and suddenly cold. Once you exit the pool, there is a row of showers so you can rinse off the chlorine at little before heading out into the main section of the building. Once there, you can grab your gear from the convenient cubbies (and never too few where you’re searching for somewhere to put your stuff) and take a full shower in the full bathroom or duck into one of the multitude of changing rooms to swap your suit for more appropriate winter clothes.
3) Swimsuit dryer. Little Miss prefers to take a shower at home, so she changes then uses the swimsuit drying station to get the majority of the water out. I love that, especially since her swim bag doesn’t drip water in my car all the way home. The super smart thing Goldfish Swim School did? They pipe the water away from the spinner. Most places I’ve ever seen with a spin dry for suits have the water drip onto the floor below it, but not here, which means kids aren’t tempted to play in it nor can they slip and fall in it.
4) Provided hair dryers and grooming station. The quick and easy grooming station also ensures that once kids are in dry clothes, the rest of them can dry off, too. The large mirrors make it easy to see what you’re doing, and the fun surfboard bench means that even Little Miss is willing to sit still while we dry her hair before heading outside. And yes, there are multiple hair dryers on each side of the grooming area for your use, meaning fewer things to remember and pack in your swim bag.
5) Easy cancellations. Life happens. Trust me, I know about that, as Little Miss has had to miss many swim lessons for a variety of reasons from travel to illness. Cancelling a lesson is as easy as calling the front desk up to five minutes before your Goldfish Swim School lesson to let them know you can’t make it. You can reschedule right then or figure out a time the next time you make it in. There’s no charge so long as you cancel at least five minutes before your lesson, which is great when you have kids with busy schedules from gymnastics meets to school carnivals and more.
6) Goggles to rent. Once kids are old enough to wear them, Goldfish Swim School encourages kids to wear goggles during their swim lessons so that they are focusing on their swimming and not keeping water from their eyes. Little Miss has prescription goggles that I purchased for her, but one week she forgot them at home. No big deal. Once she got into her lesson, her instructor got a pair for her to use during the lesson and even ensured they fit properly so that she was able to enjoy her swim lesson. (Prior to November 21, goggles were available for lending on the pool deck – a limited number are now available for a reasonable rental at the front desk.)
7) Pre-lesson checkin. Kids go to their lessons by themselves, while parents sit in the viewing area directly outside the pool. At the start of the half hour, every child checks in at the “dry door” with the staff and hears which lane to go to for the swim lesson. The lessons are typically consistent in which lane each group is in, but as groups may change over time, it’s a great reminder. And if a child needs to be walked to the correct lane, the staff doesn’t hesitate to do so. The time we were a few minutes late (thank you, freight train), Little Miss was hesitant to walk in, and the staff immediately noticed and came from behind the desk to walk her to her correct lane, giving her the confidence she needs to do this by herself.
8) Parent feedback. At the end of every lesson, parents are invited into the pool area. For the last five minutes of the lesson, the instructors give feedback on the lesson and what they worked on, as well as where the child is doing well and what they need to continue to work on. It’s a great way to know what to talk to your child about on the way home, as well as giving an idea for what to practice on your own – assuming the weather is amenable to swimming outside of your weekly lesson!
9) Report cards. Each swim level has specific swim requirements that Goldfish Swim School needs your child to meet prior to moving to the next level. At every lessons, staff observe the lessons to determine if and which children are ready for advancement. If they have mastered the required skills, the child is presented with a report card noting the skills they’ve mastered at the end of the lesson, and changing the swim group is as easy as showing it to the front desk and scheduling your new lesson time – though whenever Little Miss has moved to a new level, there has been a lesson at the same time we already attended.
Even if your child doesn’t move up, you are always welcome to ask for a report card that shares exactly where your child stands in terms of the skills they’ve mastered and the ones that still need some work. The staff will prepare one for your at any time, which is the benefit of having someone monitor the lessons. In addition, every quarter, every child is given a report card so parents know exactly where they stand. Having the feedback readily available and given in a transparent manner makes me, as a parent, more confident in what my child is learning.
10) Positive motivation. On your child’s birthday week, they receive a ribbon noting that they swam on their birthday, in addition to ribbons earned whenever they advance a level or have a major accomplishment like doing a four minute continuous swim. At the end of each lesson, children are welcome to go to the front desk and collect a small toy for a job well done. Each month has a different theme, and each week has a different prize. Little Miss (at 10) loves checking to see what she can “get” each week, and her November alien collection is quite well played with. No matter how well the child swam or how challenging the lesson, walking out with recognition for a job well done is an excellent way to close out the Goldfish Swim School lesson.
Ready to Sign Up for Goldfish Swim School Lessons?
Swim lessons are available for kids ages 4 months to 12 years old.
This holiday season, the Mundelein location has a holiday gift of 2 months of swim lessons and a basket of Goldfish retail items for $165 — over a $200 value! Once a week half hour lessons are generally $80 per month for group lessons, so the basket is a great freebie and filled with all sorts of fun items, including mascot stuffed animal and way more.
In addition, because Mundelein is a new location, they have an extra special awesome promotion. They are offering charter and golden membeships. Pay for a year of swim lessons in advance, and you receive a free birthday party ($450 value), free family swim for a year, and a charter member tile. Prepay for 6 months of lessons and receive 50% off a birthday party and free family swim for six months. Somehow, I already know where Little Miss is going to be begging for her next birthday party.